Curle interested in only one statistic after 'strange' journey home from Exeter

Cobblers boss Keith Curle was only interested in the scoreline and nothing else after his side bounced back from defeat at Exeter City with victory over Forest Green Rovers on Saturday.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 7:43 am
Keith Curle

Forest Green had more possession (64% to 36%), more shots (16 to 12), more shots on target (3 to 2) and more corners (9 to 6) than the Cobblers, but Matt Mills' own goal was enough for the hosts to take all three points.

And that's the only thing which mattered to Curle, who was eager for his team to 'respond' after their 'strange' journey home from Exeter the previous weekend.

"The journey back from Exeter was a strange one because we hadn't lost in a while but one of the challenges we set the changing room is to show a reaction and a response," he said.

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"It's not about reinventing the wheel if we don't get the right result. We know what we're trying to do and we've got good belief in what we're trying to do and how we can get on the front foot and how we give the opposition problems.

"Within that, in every game we play, we face different challenges because of the style of play and the personnel of the opposition.

"The players are embracing that. It's not deemed a negative when identify the opposition's strengths and when we give them a gameplan as to how we can nullify the opposition and how we can play to our strengths."

Saturday's win was probably the most hard-fought of Cobblers' six straight home wins.

"We defend from the front," Curle added. "Out of possession, every player had a role to play whether that was winning the ball back or showing the play into our strengths rather than the opposition's strengths.

"I didn't think there were many passages of play where Forest Green got into their rhythm and got forward momentum.

"First-half we stopped them very well and in the second they had a little bit more dominance and our ball retention wasn't as good as it could have been.

"But there's a lot of focus on statistical data these days - pass completions, final third entries etc - but when we do our analysis we start with the scoreline because that's the important thing.

"The other data can tell whatever story managers and coaches want but ultimately it's the result we look at first."